If you have loved driving through the summer sunshine with the roof down, the sudden drop in temperature may well come as a shock. And it is just as much of a shock for your soft top!
Like us, soft top cars like to cover up, make sure they are waterproof, and snuggle up in the dry wherever possible. Basically, if you can, put your soft top in a garage. If you can’t do that, maintain the condition with appropriate conditioning and waterproof products, and cover it up when it is not in use.
Choosing a car cover
If you don’t have a garage to store your convertible in, it is worth investing in a car cover. Soft top covers aren’t just important in the colder, wetter months; the sun’s uv rays can damage soft tops, not to mention general grime, tree sap and bird droppings.
The first thing you need to look for when buying a car cover is breathability – the last thing you want is moisture being trapped between the car and the cover, permeating the hood and damaging the paint. Check with your vehicle manufacturer – they may well make custom covers for your model and make, which should fit well and offer optimal protection.
Boosting water resistance
Like a waterproof coat, a fabric or vinyl soft top can do with a little waterproof boost now and again. There are a range of soft top conditioners available, designed to clean, recondition and waterproof your hood. Pay special attention to the seams and you will help prevent your hood becoming saturated, or inconvenient in-car showers.
Use it or lose it
If your vehicle is more for pleasure than convenience and you have another car that you prefer to use over winter, you may well decide to store your convertible for the foreseeable. If you do decide to do this, make sure that the fuel tank is full – if there is a frost, water particles in the air in the engine can turn to ice. It is a good idea to turn on the engine and let it run for a few minutes every week or two to keep the battery going – or even better, on a crisp, winter’s day, wrap up warm and go for a spin!
As always, the better you look after your vehicle, the safer it will be for you, your passengers and road users, and the more it will hold its value.
If you are unsure about how to care for your vehicle, contact your local garage – they will be able to advise on the best way to keep your vehicle driving well, whatever the weather.